Lizzie Fuhr, POPUGAR Fitness
Want to look lighter without shedding a single pound? Expert trainer, Kind spokesperson, and author of Strong Is the New Skinny Jennifer Cohen says that strengthening your upper body, back, and shoulders is the key. When you tone up these often-overlooked areas of your body, it helps you achieve a long and lean “V-shaped” back that makes you appear “10 to 15 pounds thinner,” and more importantly, fit and strong.
According to Jennifer, many women tend to forget about strengthening these parts of the body and focus on “doing the things they’re good at or comfortable with” or the things they see when they look head on in a mirror. To see results and trick everyone’s eyes, check out two of Jennifer’s favorite body-sculpting moves for a beautiful back and body.
Even if you’re intimidated by the classic pull-up, you can reap the benefits of this classic exercise with one variation. Jennifer suggests using a superband — a giant, two-inch-thick rubber band — that can help you do consecutive pull-ups. Eventually, you’ll be able to lose the band and support your own body’s weight.
- Wrap the rubber band securely around the pull-up bar, put it under one knee (or one foot for even more assistance), grab onto the bar (stepping off a chair if needed to reach), and begin your pull-up.
- Repeat three to five times, and tack on more pull-ups as you become stronger.
Jennifer is a big fan of the scarecrow exercise to work and sculpt small muscles that support the shoulder joint, known as your rotator cuff. Adding the lunge to the mix works your back body double time!
- Step your left leg back into a deep lunge, making 90-degree angles with both knees.
- Raise your arms out to the side until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, making a loose fist with your hands.
- Hold the lunge while you rotate your upper arms forward to bring your fists to the floor; then rotate the upper arm backward to bring the fists up. Do not lower or raise your upper arms; keep them parallel to the floor. This completes one rep.
- Do 15 reps, then lunge with your left leg back for 15 more reps to complete a set.
Image Sources: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone